What is The Iceland Project?
Iceland is getting a lot of attention these days as tourism continues to grow. The beautiful landscapes are breathtaking, but they hide a spiritual wasteland. The presence of the Lutheran State Church would lead one to believe that Iceland has been reached by the gospel, but that is no longer the case and what now remains is a mission field in desperate need of laborers.
Like much of Scandinavia and Europe in general, Iceland is usually overlooked by churches and mission organizations when looking to invest and engage in gospel missions. If you don’t research deep enough, you’ll likely get the idea that Iceland is almost 85 percent Christian, and move on to seek other people groups who need to be reached with the gospel. The reality is that Iceland is quite possibly the most godless country in all of Europe. This is one reasons that a group put together a brief documentary called Christian by Default—in an effort to expose Iceland’s true spiritual state.
"Secularization [in Iceland] has occurred very quickly, especially among younger
people," said Bjarni Jonsson, the managing director of the Icelandic Ethical Humanist
Association, an atheist nongovernmental organization. "With increased education and
broad-mindedness, change can occur quickly."
Despite the trend, the Evangelical Lutheran Church is still the country's declared state
church. Solveig Anna Boasdottir, a professor at the Faculty of Theology and Religious
Studies at the University of Iceland, agreed that scientific progress had changed
religious attitudes in the country. But she said that about 40 percent of the country's
younger generation still consider themselves Christian -- but none of them believe that
God created the Earth.
"In this country, literally no young Christians believe that God created the Earth"
by Rick Noack